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Denuvo removed from Mass Effect Andromeda

Lime

Member
Apr 27, 2008
26,894
0
0
Cool although I doubt many people will remember/want to play this forgettable game some years from now
 

Marcel

Member
Feb 16, 2012
11,276
3
0
Now if only they could develop some pro-hype technology to make people actually want to buy Mass Effect: Andromeda.
 

Woorloog

Banned
Apr 18, 2010
19,089
0
0
Why do they remove Denuvo post-launch at some point (not just for MEA but in general for Denuvo)? Is it to limit time crackers have to work on each iteration of the system? Does it actually take up system resources and removing it post-launch is basically just a service for players?
 

AmayaPapaya

Banned
Jul 20, 2013
692
0
0
California
I guess EA is just trying to save face now. I doubt they think they will actually help sales with these updates, but they are probably just fixing it so they can say they didn't release it the way they did and abandon it.
 
Jan 12, 2007
61,079
1
0
Toronto, ON. Canada
Why do they remove Denuvo post-launch at some point (not just for MEA but in general for Denuvo)? Is it to limit time crackers have to work on each iteration of the system? Does it actually take up system resources and removing it post-launch is basically just a service for players?

Denuvo is primary there to prevent pirated copies to be released in the same day/week/month of the release to avoid losing customers. Once the time has passed, it serves no purpose since Denuvo will probably be cracked by then.
 

Woorloog

Banned
Apr 18, 2010
19,089
0
0
Denuvo is primary there to prevent pirated copies to be released in the same day/week/month of the release to avoid losing customers. Once the time has passed, it serves no purpose since Denuvo will probably be cracked by then.

Did Denuvo need an online check occasionally or something? Because otherwise, i really don't get why they'd bother to remove it post-launch, regardless of its usefulness at that point.
 

GrantDaNasty

Member
Feb 19, 2013
2,009
0
0
Estonia
Why do they remove Denuvo post-launch at some point (not just for MEA but in general for Denuvo)? Is it to limit time crackers have to work on each iteration of the system? Does it actually take up system resources and removing it post-launch is basically just a service for players?

My understanding is that Denuvo charges companies a running fee, it's part of why it's been so difficult to crack through (If I'm wrong, anyone else here feel free to correct me, as I'd be curious to know more myself).
 

Permanently A

Junior Member
Jan 16, 2012
11,963
0
640
Why do they remove Denuvo post-launch at some point (not just for MEA but in general for Denuvo)? Is it to limit time crackers have to work on each iteration of the system? Does it actually take up system resources and removing it post-launch is basically just a service for players?

Denuvo is there to protect the launch period, where the game tends to sell most of its lifetime copies. I believe Denuvo is lifted later for various reasons such as facilitating modding and game preservation.
 

xrnzaaas

Member
Dec 9, 2013
12,249
6,464
805
It's surprising they did this quietly, I figured most publishers use moments like this as an opportunity to boast about removing additional protection software and being gamer friendly and all of that.
 

K' Dash

Member
Sep 7, 2006
9,553
907
1,460
Single Player RPGs with a MP module are not the future, they probably want to forget about Mass Effect and put all their efforts on Anthem.
 

Marcel

Member
Feb 16, 2012
11,276
3
0
It's surprising they did this quietly, I figured most publishers use moments like this as an opportunity to boast about removing additional protection software and being gamer friendly and all of that.

Not really. I don't know if you heard this
/s
but Mass Effect: Andromeda was a fiscal and critical disaster and EA wants to move on from it.
 

alr1ght

bish gets all the credit :)
Sep 25, 2005
55,610
6
1,440
Why do they remove Denuvo post-launch at some point (not just for MEA but in general for Denuvo)? Is it to limit time crackers have to work on each iteration of the system? Does it actually take up system resources and removing it post-launch is basically just a service for players?

Presumably it requires an ongoing subscription to keep using Denuvo, as it phones homes to Denuvo's servers in order to authenticate.
 

Alex_Mexico

Member
Mar 13, 2014
9,970
0
0
Single Player RPGs with a MP module are not the future, they probably want to forget about Mass Effect and put all their efforts on Anthem.
What? Get out of here! Horizon and Zelda don't even have MP at all and they were Súper successful.
 

Woorloog

Banned
Apr 18, 2010
19,089
0
0
Yes, Denuvo does an an online check occasionally.

Presumably it requires an ongoing subscription to keep using Denuvo, as it phones homes to Denuvo's servers in order to authenticate.

Well, that makes sense. Because...

I believe Denuvo is lifted later for various reasons such as facilitating modding and game preservation.

...really doesn't in this day's environment where many games lack modability or are poorly moddable, and publishers (let alone general public) aren't really interested in the concept of game preservation (let's be honest, video games aren't regarded like books and films are as entertainment).

As far as i know, outside some re-releases, publishers never really bothered to remove DRM from older games, and this is problematic to this day for some. For example, compatibility issues: Whatever Command&Conquer Generals is using doesn't work under Windows 10 getting it to work on Win10 is borderline impossible. Last i read, this applies to even the C&C Collection version sold on Origin...
 

K' Dash

Member
Sep 7, 2006
9,553
907
1,460
What? Get out of here! Horizon and Zelda don't even have MP at all and they were Súper successful.

It's not that I don't like them. EA put the A team on Anthem for a reason, you can see how much they care about Mass Effect releasing it without being finished.
 

prudislav

Member
Mar 15, 2012
2,762
1
695
Love the irony of this move , they were boasting about impelmenting improved version of it just not that long ago :-D
 

Wulfram

Member
Oct 9, 2014
1,896
2
250
...really doesn't in this day's environment where many games lack modability or are poorly moddable, and publishers (let alone general public) aren't really interested in the concept of game preservation (let's be honest, video games aren't regarded like books and films are as entertainment).

People had made some pretty good progress in modding MEA even before Denuvo was removed

For example, here's one that lets you fly around like Ironman

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fw209hCPFr0

(Though I agree that whoever made the decision to switch off Denuvo probably doesn't care very much about modding)
 

ArkhamFantasy

Member
Oct 13, 2013
9,880
0
0
Seems like a pretty common strategy nowadays. DRM at launch when demand is by far the highest, then take it out a few months later.
 

LordJim

Member
Apr 12, 2013
1,819
0
0
Seems like a pretty common strategy nowadays. DRM at launch when demand is by far the highest, then take it out a few months later.
Only 10 ( about 1 in 7 of the games that use Denuvo) removed the DRM later. So no, not very common.
7 of those 10 of those were already cracked(with cases like ME:A cracked within the launch window).
 

Woorloog

Banned
Apr 18, 2010
19,089
0
0
People had made some pretty good progress in modding MEA even before Denuvo was removed

For example, here's one that lets you fly around like Ironman

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fw209hCPFr0

(Though I agree that whoever made the decision to switch off Denuvo probably doesn't care very much about modding)

Modding that depends on exe-modding isn't apparently possible with Denuvo, i think?
But easily-moddable games are rarely about that. Many modern games don't have files or systems that can be modded (or the effort needed makes it unfeasible), regardless of whether the game executive can be modified or not.
 

gatti-man

Member
Aug 30, 2010
8,313
376
915
42
My guess is the MP is making money so they would rather maximize the MP community than worry about the sprinkling on SP sales they are getting.
 

synce

Member
Sep 18, 2012
3,656
162
625
Does Denuvo charge per update? As cancerous as this DRM is, I can't think of any reason a company like EA would remove it other than cutting costs
 

Acidote

Member
Apr 13, 2006
6,591
0
1,035
I did not buy it at launch because it had Denuvo and I had so many other things to play.

I'm just not buying it now after what I've read and seen about the game. Maybe when it's around 10€.
 

StalkerUKCG

Banned
Jun 4, 2011
17,132
0
815
Removing Denuvo isn't going to make any difference.

It's debately and can depend on the game I believe.

Here's what someone trying to crack Denuvo had to say

1) code is compiled from x86 to a virtual machine's instruction set, an x86 instruction will be translated into about between 2 to 50 VM instructions. A VM instruction is 1 to 4 bytes (depending on version of VMProtect, old was 1, new is 4) for fetching the next instruction opcode, and either 0, 1, 2 or 8 bytes for arguments. This will result in new instructions taking a lot more space, possibly between 2 bytes to 600 bytes per original x86 instruction, depending what the instruction is and the used version of the protector, newer ones being bigger.

2) the interpreter for this machine tends to take between 3 to 100 x86 instructions in its un-obfuscated form.

3) the interpreter is obfuscated, usually resulting in a 4-10 times increase in code size, and the code isn't localized in the same space (jumps throughout a 100MB executable will hurt cache) and access to the interpreter's "registers" and memory is done indirectly, again resulting in more sluggish performance.

Given these estimations, even if not perfectly accurate without doing actual statistics, you can expect between 24-50000 times slower code execution for protected instructions, possibly with an average 10000 times slow down. It would be insanity to do this on anything but initialization functions if you don't want your games to be very slow. If that wasn't enough to be bad, there are also threads running in parallel that performs anti-debugging features and they run virtualized code.

I haven't seen any gaps as you mention in protected game code once it's decrypted in memory, there are hundreds of virtualized functions per game, there are a lot of integrity checks in certain functions which are bound to be very slow, but if the developers were clever, they placed them in initialization code only. Some performance loss is unavoidable as certain code seems to be inserted indiscriminately throughout most functions, such as hiding integer constants using rather simple obfuscations, import protection by decrypting import addresses at runtime, and the integrity checks.
 

MartyStu

Member
Feb 16, 2012
7,372
0
580
Denuvo is there to protect the launch period, where the game tends to sell most of its lifetime copies. I believe Denuvo is lifted later for various reasons such as facilitating modding and game preservation.

Seeing as it is rarely ever removed, I think it has more to do with maintenance or something like that.
 

Springy

Member
Feb 10, 2014
1,573
1
0
Brighton, England
Why all the shitposting? A bunch of games remove Denuvo a point after release. And it's not just "bad" games that do it on the DL: Doom had it taken out without any announcement from id/Bethesda.
 

Hoo-doo

Banned
Sep 29, 2011
27,242
39
670
Why all the shitposting? A bunch of games remove Denuvo a point after release. And it's not just "bad" games that do it on the DL: Doom had it taken out without any announcement from id/Bethesda.

The game was a clunker, that's mostly why.
 

Nitpicker_Red

Member
Jul 28, 2016
323
4
260
My understanding is that Denuvo charges companies a running fee, it's part of why it's been so difficult to crack through (If I'm wrong, anyone else here feel free to correct me, as I'd be curious to know more myself).

Based on this old source Denuvo asks for a flat fee based on the scale of the game.

Apparently they implement a custom tool based on the game's executable, then the Devs of the game run the tool on every build they produce. So they can continue using the tool on several versions of the game without additional cost, and can "remove" Denuvo by simply omiting the last step.
Integration workflow into a game:
The protection is a post-compiler step and does not need any source code modifications on your end (only three compiler / linker settings must be enabled in VS).
We have an online encryption service which is available as SaaS (hosted in the AWS).
Step 1: Provide us (access to) a (running) build with three compiler / linker settings enabled: /pdb /map /fixed:no; the Steam app ID and Steam private key
Step 2: We create and run our performance profiler and play the game collecting performance uncritical functions
Step 3: We setup the game project on the protection server and send a cmd line tool to the dev team with instructions how to embed it to the build process
Step 4: When running the protection our engine decompiles the exe, parses the collected functions from step 2, injects the security code and recompiles the executable (and creates an updated pdb for debugging)​
We usually see this workflow done in 1-2 weeks but suggest to start integrating it 1 month prior goldmaster date to have enough time and focus – also for testing.
Still based on that source, the costs of Denuvo also seem minimal (less than 1% of a game's sales). No wonder why even some Indies start using it.
Official ordering and invoicing is done by our partner Sony, we do the technical fulfillment.
The standard pricing models:
Lump sum model:
AAA title (bigger 500k units on PC): 100.000 EUR
AA title (smaller 500k units on PC): 50.000 EUR
Indie title (less than 100k units on PC): 10.000 EUR
Or
Per unit pricing:
2.500 EUR setup fee.
0,15 EUR per unit reported monthly based on Steam,... owners.
(optional) cost covering for on-site visit if requested.
-

I think it's a good PR move to remove it after the launch window because it opens back up mods that act on the exe directly, and alleviates any long-term worries about Denuvo. Denuvo has its uses in short-term sales while not costing much, so removing it as soon as it's cracked is basically only keeping the best part of it.